American-based material company Checkerspot recently released the Pollinator™ Kit, an algae-based resin that allows anyone to make durable, long-lasting parts with ≥56% biobased content.
Checkerspot designs performance materials company that designs at a molecular level by optimizing microbes to biomanufacture unique structural oils produced in nature, providing product designers and manufacturers with renewable materials to build applications for a post-petroleum future.
The Pollinator™ Series Cast Polyurethane System is formulated with Checkerspot’s Algal Polyol 001, a USDA Certified Biobased Product, and formulated to function similarly to conventional hand-mixable cast polyurethane.
The company developed the Pollinator™ Kit to provide creators, designers, and product developers around the world with access to a more sustainable and easy-to-use polyurethane resin that will help foster the widespread adoption of renewable materials. The resins can be used with the same tooling, molds, and processes used when working with fossil fuel-derived polyurethane formulations, sacrificing product performance or functionality.
Polyurethanes make a vital contribution to our functioning world, commonly found in everything from mattress foam and floor coatings, textile adhesives and electronics, to membranes and construction materials, and hundreds of thousands of other products. And, today, nearly every drop of them is derived from fossil fuels.
“Historically, product designers, hobbyists, and artists have been limited by the materials available to them from commodity-based suppliers. The Pollinator Kit is bringing these biomanufactured materials straight to their workshop, garage, or design studio, and empowering people who are hungry for a better way to make products where they are,” says Charles Dimmler, CEO and co-founder of Checkerspot.
Through biotechnology, Checkerspot has harnessed the power of microalgae’s natural process of making oil at scale to create renewable building blocks for materials that have historically been made with petroleum.
The kits feature three kinds of algae-derived materials: the polyurethane resin system, pigment, and packaging materials printed with algae-based ink. The kit comes with a mixing stick made from the resin itself, which is made from Checkerspot’s algal polyol that is 100% biobased.